Tottenham are currently in “advanced talks” to sign Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala, with the North London club now favourites to sign the Brazilian, a source has told ESPN.
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However, the lure of living in London and playing European football this season seems to be tipping the balance in Tottenham’s favour, and they are believed to have stepped in with a bigger offer.
A source has told ESPN that Willian has flown into London for final talks with Spurs and to undergo a medical, with the deal -- worth around £30 million -- set to be completed in time ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game against Swansea at White Hart Lane.
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Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas suggested on Monday that he was keen to revive his interest in the forward he attempted to sign last January, as he looks to add the finishing touches to his squad for the new season.
Villas-Boas stated back in February that “it was a big shame to see a player of Willian’s talent staying in the Russian league” after he accepted a big-money offer from Anzhi ahead of a potential move to Spurs.
Yet it seems as if the Spurs boss is about to get his man just a few months later, with Anzhi owner Suleyman Kerimo putting his entire first-team squad up for sale in a high-profile cost-cutting exercise that is almost certain to see former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o following Willian out of the club.
Several reports are now suggesting that Willian’s arrival at Tottenham could hasten Gareth Bale’s exit from White Hart Lane, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy eager to sign replacements for the Wales international before sanctioning his much-discussed move to Real Madrid.
If the deal goes through, Willian will become Tottenham's record signing, with the fee surpassing the £26 million they paid to sign striker Roberto Soldado from Valencia on August 5.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, however, is facing a third defeat in his attempts to land a major summer signing, having lost out to Borussia Dortmund in his bid to bring in midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk, before seing another target, striker Diego Costa, turn down a move to Anfield in order to stay with Atletico Madrid.